Jeffrey Meitrodt, 40, has been special projects editor of The Times-Picayune since 1997. He was recently named a finalist for the inaugural Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers for leading a two-year investigation of programs aimed at helping minority and women-owned businesses in New Orleans. He also won a 2001 National Headliner award for investigative reporting for a series that exposed nepotism and drug problems among the state's close-knit fraternity of river pilots. His other work includes a 1996 investigation into a local district attorney, which revealed the prosecutor's business ties to mobsters and convicted felons; the district attorney resigned four days before the series was published. His reporting on the New Orleans public schools system in 1997 and 1998 was credited with the forced resignation of the superintendent, and won an investigative reporting award from the Educational Writers Association. He began his journalism career in 1983 at the Twin Cities Reader, an alternative weekly in Minneapolis, where he won a Minnesota Page-One Award for his coverage of a male prostitution ring. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota in 1984, he moved to suburban Boston, joining the Quincy-Patriot Ledger as a reporter in 1985. He moved to the Kingston Daily Freeman in upstate New York a year later, beginning a 10-year career as a business reporter. He moved to New Orleans in 1988 to joint the staff of CityBusiness, a local business weekly, and was hired as a business reporter at The Times-Picayune in 1993.